Li Xuhang, consul general of the People's Republic of China in Dubai, celebrated China's National Day by ringing the market-opening bell at Nasdaq Dubai.
The ceremony reflected the strong and rapidly growing links between China and the UAE, which include Chinese bonds being listed on Nasdaq Dubai. As the Mena region's business hub, the UAE plays a central role in the Belt and Road initiative and accounted for 26 per cent of non-oil trade between China and all Arab countries in 2018.
More than 6,000 Chinese businesses are based in Dubai including major banks and trading companies, and the UAE has received 43 per cent of foreign investment from China into Arab countries. More Chinese nationals live in the UAE than in any other country in the region and about 850,000 Chinese nationals visited Dubai in 2018, 12 per cent more than in 2017.
"I am delighted to celebrate National Day at the Mena region's international financial exchange in Dubai, as the relationship between China and the UAE continues to expand quickly in finance, business, trade and tourism. The strong capital markets links between Nasdaq Dubai and China are a positive example of our national collaboration with the UAE, which is benefiting the peoples of both countries as well as the wider Mena region," said Li Xuhang.
Chinese listings on Nasdaq Dubai have included three Sukuk (Islamic bonds) issued by The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as well as conventional bonds issued by Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Yingchuan Tonglian Capital Investment Operation Company. The issuances totaled $9.15 billion in value and the issue currencies were US dollars and renminbi.
Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, chairman of Nasdaq Dubai, said: "We are honoured by the visit of the Consul General to Nasdaq Dubai on the important occasion of China's National Day. China can be a key partner for the exchange as we expand and deepen our engagement with market participants in Asian countries in order to provide new opportunities for issuers and investors."
Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, said: "We have invested significantly in building a sophisticated financial ecosystem that supports the regional growth of Chinese businesses through Dubai. The DIFC is home to the four largest Chinese banks and a number of Chinese corporates, who are already using the Centre as a springboard to tap into the fast-growing Middle East, Africa and South Asia markets. Through the continuous enhancement of our robust infrastructure and a number of strategic partnerships with Chinese associations, we are committed to strengthening our relationship with China and wish the nation many more years of prosperity."